Poems and Art
Two poems from the book 'DARK' were part of an art exhibition 'Art for Poetry's Sake', and event at the 2016 Mudgee Readers' Festival. The two poems were 'Life to Live' and 'The Bridge'.
LIFE TO LIVE
I saw you die today,
All bloated, bald and yellow.
We used to talk a lot before.
Me by your bed,
You lying there listening,
Feeling the hot chemicals
Seep into your veins,
Through the small plastic tubes
Connected to the bag full
Of that stuff that's killing you.
We would talk about your girlfriend
And your plans to marry her when
She's back from OS
How you want to eat pizza
Drink a dozen beers and go
Clubbing with your mates.
I laugh and join in on the
Dreams that we both know
Will never happen.
Not in this lifetime anyway.
You are lying here now with
Your mouth agape inhaling
The last breaths which rattle your lungs.
The lips are dry and cracked.
And I can see the ulcers on
Your gums formed from
The weeks of treatment
The thin yellow arm trapped to
A morphine machine so that
Your last hours are without pain.
I stand there and watch,
Knowing what's physically going on
In your body. The slow molecular
Breakdown which happens up to
The final sigh, beat and impulse
You will ever make.
I watch this disintegration
Almost with fascination and
Marvel how you know inside
Yourself that death is what's happening.
I take your hand to say goodbye,
Which feels all parched and brittle
And squeeze it so lightly to let you
Know I am still there.
Softly I say farewell and for a second
Your eyes open and you say, "No. Don't go yet".
That's what I should be saying to you
Dear friend, "Don't go yet. There is still
Life to live." But with a flutter
You shut your eyes, and you are gone.
Your hand reached out
And touched my shoulder
Forming a bridge between
Making a connection of
Warm, comforting and dear.
That's all that's needed.
A touch from an outstretched hand
To show that you care for someone
And form a bridge between two people
Upon which feelings can cross,
And be shared.
Life to Live by Ruth Gobbitt
The Bridge by Toni Behrens